Drought Watch in Washington, Greene Counties

Washington PA Observer Reporter
20 July 2012

The state Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday issued a drought watch for 15 Western Pennsylvania counties, including Washington, Greene, Allegheny and Beaver.

DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said, “This measure will alert the public and water suppliers that there are voluntary, common-sense ways to conserve.”

A drought watch declaration is the first and least severe level of the state’s three drought classifications. It calls for a voluntary five percent reduction in nonessential water use and puts large water consumers on notice to begin planning for the possibility of reduced water supplies.

Precipitation deficits over the past 90 days are as great as 5.5 inches below normal in Beaver County and 4.9 inches below normal in Lawrence and Mercer counties.

Residents of Washington and Greene counties experienced downpours Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Hard rains won’t sink into parched ground, increasing the likelihood of flash flooding.

DEP offered guidelines for consumers, such as running dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads and keeping water in a refrigerator to avoid running water from a faucet until it is cold.